{P, H, F, R} Annual Family Vacation

My husband’s family gathers every year in their favorite town on Cape Cod.  It is something that has happened for generations, with multiple cars coming in, flights being booked, houses rented, hotel rooms filled–one year we had 43 people on one vacation.  It is a good time, even if mobilizing that many people at once can be daunting.  We discovered a few years ago that there is a good reason his family is so drawn to that little town, their ancestors, who came over on the Mayflower, actually founded the town. Crazy, I know! 

These pictures are long overdue, but Auntie Leila’s plea for {p, h, f, r} posts was just the nudge I needed.


Buddy always comes home with a huge bag full of his “collection,” which he then uses through out the year to create a museum in our yard.  His original collection, which was a few years in the making, was destroyed in a hurricane, followed by deck construction.  He is very proud of his beautiful finds, especially the crab–which was only a shell but still intact.

We were all happy to be back at our favorite house on the Cape.  We do not own the house, but it is home. Hubby’s immediate family (and their families) have been staying here for almost a decade.  It is our favorite spot to stay.  My favorite part is that we know the home so well, that we just bring in the luggage and head out to our private beach on the pond to relax. 
Little Man was happy to discover the joy of the outdoor shower–oh, the outdoor shower, I wait all year for that!
The big kids were happy to have some open space to fly kites and play endless games of badminton in the sand.
Happy, happy, happy!!!

My husband received this tent as a birthday gift last year, but hadn’t gotten to use it.  We took it along and pitched it in the sand one night.  The two big kids and Hubby had a little adventure sleeping under the stars.  They even saw a meteor shower.
The next day, I took Buddy out for our annual “Mommy/Buddy date,” which always includes food.  As we were sitting at the counter of his favorite homemade donut place, some local gentlemen struck up a conversation with us.  They asked where we were staying and how we liked it.  I told them the address and explained how much we enjoyed our week on the pond.  I added, “My husband and the kids even camped out on our backyard beach last night.”
He looked at me in dismay, “Camped!  You know we have raccoons around here.  I hope they weren’t bothered by any raccoons!”
I politely explained that we come from an area where mountain lions have been spotted walking down residential streets, Coyotes hang out in our woods, and 500 lb black bears press their noses against my kitchen door…raccoons, we can handle!

Probably my favorite part of the trip is real-ly fresh seafood, not the “catch of the day” that was previously frozen and caught LORD knows where that we find at restaurants and grocers by us.  When they say, just caught, it means within the past few hours.  The taste can’t be beat, although the price keeps us from eating as much as we would really like to.
However, my family likes to clam.  They can spend hours on the flats in muck up to their ankles digging up clams with their bare hands.  I like to make clam chowder, it’s a good deal.  Can I clam? Yes.  Will I clam? No. If my family were starving could I suck it up and feed them clams? Absolutely, but right now I prefer to stay home reading a book and leave the dirty work to them.  Even Little Man pitched in this year on the two and a half hour clamming expedition.
I don’t have pictures of that because I was, well at home.  But I do have pictures of the delicious chowder we had for dinner mere hours after the clams were dug.  Can’t get much fresher than that!
Of course, a couple weeks after returning home, I found out that the hives, intestinal issues, etc that I had been dealing with for over a month were due to a milk intolerance.  I have learned to make gluten free chowder–milk free, that is a real challenge.  This may have been my last savoring of fresh clam chowder.  I guess I’ll eat mine steamed with garlic and oil next year!
We were really sad to say goodbye. Only eleven more months and we get to go back!

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